Acquired from the Mariners in an offshoot of the Sonny Gray trade in January, Stowers has a chance to have four average or better tools, with his arm the lone exception. Otto has had difficulty staying healthy but can reach 97 mph and devastate hitters with his curveball when he’s at 100 percent.
Art Ditmar, an ex-Yankees’ pitcher who was involved in a controversy regarding the 1960 World Series, passed away last week at the age of 92.
Ditmar pitched for the Philadelphia A’s (1954), Kansas City A’s (1955-1956), Yankees (1957-1961), and back with the Kansas City A’s (1961-1962).
He beat the Yankees for his first MLB victory in the last game the A’s played at old Shibe Park (at that time renamed Connie Mack Stadium) before the A’s moved to KC in 1955. In this game, Yogi Berra played 3B and Mickey Mantle played SS.
Ditmar led the league in losses in 1956, going 12-22.
He pitched well for the Yankees in the 1957 and 1958 World Series, getting a ring for the 1958 World Champs.
He went 13-9, 2.90 in 1959 (ERA+ 126) and 15-9, 3.06 (ERA+ 118) in 1960, his two best years in the majors.
He then started game 1 of the 1960 WS. This prevented Whitey Ford from pitching in Games 1, 4 and 7 and may have cost the Yankees the WS. Ditmar lost both games he started, getting knocked out of Game 1 in the very first inning, getting just one out, and getting knocked out in the second inning of Game 5.
The decision to start Ditmar, and not go with Ford (who threw complete game shutouts in Games 3 and 6) contributed to the Yankees losing the WS and in letting manager Casey Stengel go after that 1960 World Series.
Many years later, a TV commercial insinuated incorrectly that Ditmar was the one who gave up the WS winning HR to Bill Mazeroski (it was Ralph Terry) in that WS. Ditmar sued but the case was dismissed.
Ditmar was 72-77, 3.98 in his MLB career (ERA+ 97; 100 is average). His 162 game average was 11-12, 3.98. That average would be about 24 starts, 20 relief appearances over 162 games.
He pitched six scoreless innings, across two games, against the Braves in the 1957 WS, and 3 2/3 scoreless innings in one game of the 1958 WS against the Braves. But in that 1960 WS against the Pirates he was 0-2, 21.60.
Gary Sanchez hit a 2-run, PH HR in the top of the seventh, and the Yanks survived a ninth-inning scare to beat Toronto up in Buffalo (Covid restrictions ballpark) by a 3-2 score Wednesday night.
The win put the Yankees at 35-32 for the season. They are in third place in the AL East, 7 back of Tampa Bay and 6 back of Boston.
The Yanks scored in the first inning but missed the chance to get more runs. D.J. LeMahieu reached on an error, and Aaron Judge singled. Gleyber Torres walked, and the Yankees had the bases loaded with no one out. Giancarlo Stanton hit a SF but that was the only run the Yanks would get that inning. Not only that, Judge’s hit was the only hit the Yankees would get until the seventh inning.
Yankees’ starter Gerrit Cole gave up a HR to Marcus Semien on his second pitch of the game. In the fifth inning, Cole gave up another solo HR, this one to Cavan Biggio, and the Blue Jays were up 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, Miguel Andujar singled to lead off the inning. It was just the Yankees’ second hit of the game. One out later, Sanchez PH for Kyle Higashioka and drilled his 10th HR of the season. The two-run shot gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman gave up a single, then a double to put runners on second and third with no one out. Chapman escaped with a strikeout, then a comebacker that caught Vlad Guerrero, Jr. too far off the bag at third. Guerrero was tagged out, 1-2-5, then Chapman got a liner to center to finish off his escape and the ballgame.
The Yankees only got four hits in the game.
Sanchez 2-run HR (10)
Cole (W, 8-3) 8 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR. 2.31 Chapman (S, 14) 1 P, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.78
Minor league briefing: A couple of walk-off homers. Nice records for the farm teams.
AAA: SWB (25-11) got a 3-run HR by C Rob Brantly in the bottom of the 10th to win 10-7. SS Hoy Jun Park (.368 at AAA, .318 combined AA/AAA this year) 1 for 2, 4 walks, RBI (I would like Odor cut loose and Park, 25, a lefty hitter, given a shot. Park also plays 2b). LF Tom Milone 3 hits, RBI. The Yanks let Ryan LaMarre be a free agent, possibly clearing a roster spot for someone like Park or maybe OF Trey Amburgey (26, Righty bat, hitting .365, and ex-Yankees C Erik Kratz likes him) . We’ll see. Maybe Park and Amburgey don’t cut it in the majors, but given the way some Yanks are not hitting, why not give them a chance if there is an opportunity available?
AA: Somerset (21-13) won 7-5. Rehabbing Luke Voit 0 for 3, walk, struck out 2x. Luis Medina, just promoted, 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 10 K. 2b Diego Castillo 3 hits, RBI. C Donny Sands 3 RBI, GW 2-run HR in bottom of the 11th.
High A: Hudson Valley (21-15) lost 6-4. DH Josh Breaux 4 hits, RBI. SS Josh Smith 2 hits.
Low A: Tampa (27-11) lost 3-2. Game called after five innings.
Before the game, GM Brian Cashman addressed the media, stating he still believes in manager Aaron Boone and the team and that the Yankees (34-32, 3rd in AL East, 8 back) would be buyers, not sellers, at the trade deadline.
The Yanks then went out and snapped their 3-game losing streak with a 6-5 win in Buffalo over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The night started off shaky. Yankees’ starter Jordan Montgomery walked the bases loaded with no one out in the bottom of the first but got out of the inning giving up only one run.
Gary Sanchez tied the game up in the top of the second with his ninth HR of the season.
Yankee-killer Bo Bichette homered in the third inning to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Chris Gittens got his first MLB hit, a HR, to tie the game. Gittens was 0 for 14 before that.
Toronto came back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, all with two out, and Bichette was the guy again, delivering a two-run single.
The Yanks cut it to 5-3 in the top of the sixth. With one out, Gio Urshela singled, and Sanchez doubled him to third. A groundout by Miguel Andujar scored Urshela.
The Yanks then tied it up it the seventh, thanks to a gift run. Brett Gardner led off the inning with his second HR of the season. D.J. LeMahieu then doubled. Two wild pitches enabled LeMahieu to score and tie up the game.
The game-winning run came in the top of the eighth. Andujar singled, and Tyler Wade pinch-ran for him. One out later, Wade stole second, and pinch-hitter Clint Frazier then doubled home Wade to make it 6-5.
An oddity: Gerrit Cole, who is starting tonight, leads the Yankees with seven wins. Second is Jonathan Loaisiga with six—all in relief.
LeMahieu 2 hits Sanchez 2 hits, solo HR (9) Gittens solo HR (1). FIRST MLB HIT. Gardner solo HR (2) Frazier pinch-hit GW RBI double.
Montgomery 5 1/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 4 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.20 Cessa 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.33 Loaisiga (W, 6-2) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.78 Britton (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 0.00 Chapman (S, 13) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.85
Minor League Notes:TIme to really get concerned about Deivi Garcia. He only got one man out last night, and gave up five runs. His ERA at AAA SWB is now 8.10 (and in his 2 starts with the Yankees, 6.48). Ugly. Estevan Florial had 2 doubles and a HR, and drove in 3 runs as SWB (21-11) won 12-6. Florial is still hitting just .195. 2B Hoy Jun Park went 4 for 4, 3 RBI, and is hitting .365 for SWB. I, for one, advocate calling him up and replacing Odor.
AA: Luke Voit went 1 for 4 on rehab as Somerset (23-13) won 10-1. Starter Glenn Otto 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 14 K (3-2, 3.95). SS Oswald Peraza 3 hits, 2B Diego Castillo 3 hits, 4 RBI, 2-run HR. C Donny Sands 3 hits, 3 RBI, 2 HR, a solo shot and a 2-run shot.
High A: Hudson Valley (21-14) won 6-5. C Josh Breaux 2 hits, solo HR. 1B Chad Bell a 3-run HR.
Low A: Tampa (27-10) won 10-5. C Austin Wells 3 hits, RBI. RF Josh Sanford 4 for 4, 2 RBI, solo HR. 2B Trevor Hauver 2 hits, 2 RBI. Two others with 2 hits each.
Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who in 1965 became the first black AL pitcher to win 20 games, has passed away at the age of 85.
Grant went 21-7, 3.30, ERA+ 108 for the Twins that year in leading them to the AL Pennant. He led the league in wins, winning pct., shutouts (6), was an All-Star (he also was one in 1963), and finished 6th in MVP voting that year.
He started 3 games in the WS that year. He won 2 games, both by complete games, and lost one. He won Game 1, lost Game 4, and won Game 6 on just two day’s rest. Not only did he pitch a complete game victory on two day’s rest, but Grant also hit a 3-run HR in that Game 6.
Grant pitched for the Indians (1958-1964), Twins (1964-1967), Dodgers (1968), Expos (1969), Cardinals (1969), A’s (1970), Pirates (1970-1971) and finished up back with the A’s in 1971. His last MLB appearance came in relief for the A’s in the 1971 ALCS.
He was 145-119 in his career with an ERA of 3.63, ERA+ right on the league average of 100. He had 54 saves, 24 in 1970.
His 162 game average was 11-9, 3.63, 4 saves (23 starts, 22 relief).